The London Schools Chamber Orchestra (LSCO) is the string training orchestra for the London Schools Symphony Orchestra (Artistic Director Peter Ash). It was set up in December 2012 with the purpose of challenging and developing young talented string players who will then progress to the LSSO. Until 2016, it was generously funded by the J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust

The course directors, Hilary Sturt and John Kirby are experienced and innovative in the field of string teaching and education. A particular feature of LSCO courses is that they combine young string players with current LSSO wind and brass players to prepare and perform standard chamber orchestra repertoire, giving them leadership/mentoring roles and the opportunity to perform concertos.  As well as a strong ethos of peer involvement, composer members of the LSCO regularly have their works performed. Past members of the LSCO include winners of the BBC Young Composers Competition.

The LSCO is inviting applications for our next course in December 2019: LSCO Application Form December 2019

For more details please contact 

The concerts are also attended by all LSSO members on the afternoon of the final course day.  For more information contact Elaine Lewis on 0207 928 3844 or

Hilary Sturt studied the violin with Shiela Nelson, David Takeno, and Felix Andrievsky, graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and the Royal College of Music with solo, chamber and contemporary music prizes.  As a violinist and violist she performed and recorded worldwide with Ensemble Modern for 20 years, including notable projects with Frank Zappa, Peter Eotvos and Pierre Boulez. She has been guest leader of many British ensembles and chamber orchestras, and is a member of the Rasumovsky Quartet and Apartment House, winners of the Philharmonic Society Award for the Most Outstanding Chamber Music in 2011. Hilary is much in demand as a teacher, adjudicator, conductor and on audition panels throughout the UK. She is Head of Strings at St Paul’s Girls’ School, Professor at the Royal College of Music, a Diploma examiner for the Associated Board and an examiner for AQA exam board. Hilary recorded the new syllabus Grades 1-4 for the ABRSM in 2015 and is currently studying for an MA at the Institute of Education. A delightfully misbehaved rescue dog and her husband’s home- made bread keep her grounded.

Cellist John Kirby completed his studies with Leonard Stehn at the Guildhall School of Music. His extensive work in the UK and abroad includes the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the English National Opera. He is currently a senior string tutor at the Centre for Young Musicians (London). He is also much in demand in the UK for his witty tailor-made orchestral arrangements, both for unusual groups of instruments and designed for differing abilities.